Gilead Sciences’ Descovy (tenofovir alafenamide/emtricitabine) will likely be approved for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), by about early 2020. A Phase III trial compared Descovy with Gilead’s Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine), currently the only approved form of PrEP. The trial included nearly 5,400 participants—largely men who have sex with men, plus 74 trans women—at high risk for HIV. One year into the study, the HIV diagnosis rate was comparably low regardless of whether participants were randomized to receive daily Descovy or Truvada as prevention. Descovy contains an updated version of the drug tenofovir that is linked with modest improvements in indicators of bone and kidney health, such as were seen in this study. Whether using Descovy over Truvada will actually prevent bone fractures or kidney disease among HIV-negative people is unknown. Descovy, however, may offer a new option for people at risk for kidney or bone problems.
Prevention: Descovy PrEP
Truvada and Descovy are both highly effective and generally safe options for HIV prevention.